Sunday, May 28, 2006

Confused Generation

I saw the following two ads in the recent issue of The Jewish Press within pages of each other, and found it somewhat amusing. It seems that this generation has at least two poskei ha-dor, top halakhic decisors of the generation. Brings up the question the Gemara asks in Chullin 80b: Is it possible for two kings to wear one crown?

I have no doubt that neither Rav Wosner nor Rav Elyashiv chose this title but, rather, their handlers gave them the title without their knowledge. Regardless, it kind of makes the point that neither of them are the posek ha-dor. My informal poll of rabbis confirmed my suspicion that Rav Wosner has more authority, at least in YU alumni circles. But even he actually called for a world-wide fast on Yom Yerushalayim. Granted, it was "Yom Kippur Katan" (the day before the new month when some -- very few -- people fast). But there is a whole segment of Orthodox Jews who celebrate the day every year as a religious holiday with parties and the so-called posek ha-dor ignored that and declared it a fast day! My mistake (see here). So maybe Rav Wosner is the posek ha-dor.

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